- NAME: William Faulkner
- OCCUPATION: Author
- BIRTH DATE: September 25, 1897
- DEATH DATE: July 06, 1962
- EDUCATION: University of Mississippi
- PLACE OF BIRTH: New Albany, Mississippi
- PLACE OF DEATH: Byhalia, Mississippi
- Full Name: William Cuthbert Faulkner
- AKA: William Faulkner
- Originally: William Cuthbert Falkner
- AKA: William Falkner
Best Known For
William Faulkner was a Nobel Prize-winning novelist of the American South, who wrote challenging prose and created the fictional Yoknapatawpha County. He is known for novels like Sartoris.
William Faulkner - Mini Bio (3:53)
Mark Twain - Early Years (3:41)
A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, William Faulkner was the poet-novelist of Mississippi. His novels "The Sound and the Fury," "As I Lay Dying," and "Light in August" all reflect the history and culture of the American South.
In 1884 Mark Twain published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and furthered his rebellious nature as one of America's premiere authors.
Mark Twain's early life in Florida, Missouri served as a great inspiration for his later literary works, including his most famous character, Tom Sawyer.
One of Mark Twain's most profitable ventures was the New York publishing house he founded and the memoir of Ulysses S. Grant that he published.
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Estelle took the proposal lightheartedly, partly because Franklin had just been commissioned as a major in the Hawaiian Territorial Forces and was leaving soon to report for duty. Estelle hoped it would dissolve naturally, but several months later, he mailed her an engagement ring. Estelle’s parents bid her to accept the offer, as Franklin was a law graduate of the University of Mississippi and came from a family of high repute.
Afflicted by Estelle’s engagement,
Faulkner turned to a new mentor Phil Stone, a local attorney who was impressed by the his poetry. Stone invited Faulkner to move and live with him in New Haven, Connecticut. There, Stone nurtured Faulkner’s passion for writing. While delving into prose, Faulkner worked at the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, a distinguished rifle manufacturer. Lured by the war in Europe, he joined he joined the British Royale Flying Corps in 1918. He had earlier tried to enlist the U.S. Forces, but they wouldn’t admit him due to his height (he was a little under 5’ 6”). To enlist in the Royal Air Force, he lied about several facts, changing his birthplace and surname—from Falkner to Faulkner—to appear more British.
Faulkner trained on British and Canadian bases, and finished his time in Toronto just before the war ended, never putting him in harm’s way. A man of skilled exaggeration, Faulkner told embellished military stories, and sometimes completely fabricated war stories, to his friends back home. He even donned the uniform of a lieutenant to bolster his reputation, a rank he never achieved.
By 1919, he was enrolled in the University of Mississippi. He wrote for the student newspaper, the Mississippian, submitting his first published poem and other short works. After three semesters as an entirely inattentive student, he dropped out. For the next few years, before going on to become the Southern writer history reveres, he spent a few months in New York City as a bookseller’s assistant, two years as the postmaster for the university, and a short stint as a scoutmaster for a local troop.
In 1924, Phil Stone escorted a collection of Faulkner’s poetry, The Marble Faun, to a publisher. Shortly after its 1,000-copy run, Faulkner moved in New Orleans. He published several essays for The Double Dealer, a local literary magazine that served to unite and nurture the city’s literary crowd. In 1925, Faulkner succeeded in having his first novel published, Soldiers’ Pay. As soon as it was accepted for print, he sailed from New Orleans to Europe to live for a few months just outside of Paris. During his stay, he wrote about the Luxembourg Gardens that were a short walk from his apartment.
Back in Louisiana, American writer Sherwood Anderson, who had become a friend, gave Faulkner some advice: He told the young author to write about his native region of Mississippi—a place that Faulkner surely knew better than northern France. Inspired by the concept, Faulkner began writing about the places and people of his childhood.
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